The Social and Energy Efficiency Housing Finance Programme (SEEHFP) was the Agence Française de Développement (AFD)'s first operation in Armenia. It was launched in April 2014 to stimulate renovation of housing for lower and middle income populations, particularly in rural areas and secondary cities, with a focus on promoting energy efficiency. The AFD loan was provided to the National Mortgage Company (NMC), the Central Bank of Armenia’s mortgage subsidiary, and was used by NMC to refinance eligible loans extended by partner financial institutions to households. The programme furthermore benefited from a grant from the European Commission (Neighbourhood Investment Facility - East) for technical assistance and performance-based cash investment grants to end-borrowers (bonuses).
At end March 2018, less than 30 percent of the AFD loan and 35 percent of the EU budget for bonuses had been utilised, despite adjustments made to the programme in 2016. Therefore, AFD commissioned a consortium of Climate & Energy Solutions and adelphi in April 2018 with a mid-term review to identify the factors accounting for the underperformance of the SEEHFP and to propose changes to the programme, with a view to improving the pace and level of disbursements.
In the framework of the mid-term evaluation, the project team assessed key achievements of the programme since the inception and identified a number of reasons for underperformance of the financing programme. MOreover, the team analysed trends and drivers of demand for energy efficiency investments in the residential sector in Armenia and conducted interviews with target groups. Based on that, a set of recommendations and improvement measures for the second phase of the SEEHFP were developed.